Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

RE: [Icehouse] Spurring the Spawing of Single-Stash Staples

  • From"Christopher Hickman" <tophu@xxxxxxx>
  • DateWed, 8 Feb 2006 11:02:05 -0500
> Also, I think money could make the community a lot less friendly;
> when money's on the line, people are going to care a lot more
> about the vote being fair, you have to worry about people
> stacking the vote, and so on.

If you'll notice, I addressed that: "My initial suggestion is for the
initial rankings to be determined by community vote and for the final
ranking to be determined by Looney Labs in any manner they see fit.  Payouts
should be based on the final rankings."

You see, the community vote is simply a barometer for Looney Labs to gauge
Rabbit opinion on the entries.  However, it's a business decision for Looney
Labs, and as such, it rests solely upon the shoulders of the company.  The
point would not be simply to design the best game.  The point is that Looney
Labs needs a game that acts as an elegant introduction and as a "gateway" to
further purchases--it would be almost as much a marketing tool as a game.
This is the niche that Treehouse is trying to fill.  I hope it does well in
that aspect.  However, if an Ice-Prize contest brings additional "gateway
games" then it can only be good for Looney Labs, and therefore Icehouse
games in general.

Since the rules would state that Looney Labs determines the rankings for
prize payouts, entrants would know up-front that the community opinion is
not relevant.  Look at it like a U.S. presidential election: We'd just be
the popular vote, Looney Labs would be the electors.  And someone who would
give another designer bad feedback on their design just to give their own
design a better chance, then, well, that person is just a dick.  I'd think
that folks on these lists would care enough about the overall health of
Icehouse to give genuine feedback in good faith. 

> I prefer being a member of a casual community where people design
> games for the fun of it, or at least for just fame and glory,
> rather than a truly competitive group motivated by money.

Several replies have said its not about the money, and I get that folks like
to think they are above material needs, but that's a delusion.  If Fluxx
didn't pay the Looney's bills, they would certainly still be making games,
but they'd only be able to make them for their friends and family as a labor
of love (like the early hand poured pyramids).  It's the money that lets
them make quality games for a large audience (i.e. us).  You and I have
bills to pay, too.  If game design has a payoff that goes beyond a gain in
notoriety and helps pay the power bill, its going to be taken more
seriously.  The existence of a prize has another important effect, as well:
It gives folks who don't have the skill or time to actually design a game,
but still want to support the effort a way to do so.  They can donate to the
prize to further motivate the participating designers.  If you still
question the ability of a prize to motivate participants, ask yourself this:
Did I take some extra effort to play Fluxx with new players in September?
As a Rabbit, you are always promoting Looney Labs games, and if you do it
solely for the love of the games, the Fluxx Buxx prize shouldn't have had
any effect on your normal promotion.  However, if you found yourself going
out of your way to promote Fluxx in September, perhaps you'll see that there
is motivational value in having a prize for which to strive.